Very basic questions about rear delts

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KenDowns
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Very basic questions about rear delts

Post by KenDowns » Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:21 am

I have to admit I do not understand at all how we strengthen our rear delts. I know the exercises to do, I just don't get how it works.

My experience with the main compound lifts may actually be getting in my way. For those you have a sustained program of varying intensity and volume and you can measure gains. You know where you are trying to go, a higher 1RM, and you know how to measure it.

So for a move like face pulls, what on Earth is the goal? More and more reps? Pain endurance as you work deeper and deeper into the burn? As I said, I'm probably confused because I think of gains in terms of the big compound moves, and don't know how to measure progress for this small muscle.

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Re: Very basic questions about rear delts

Post by stuward » Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:34 am

In my opinion, strength is the same regardless of the muscle. You should be looking for progression in load over time. However, muscle endurance is also important in rear delts since it's main role is stabilizing the shoulders. Therefore the most effective rep range is going to be higher than prime movers, making it more like training abs or extremities.
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Re: Very basic questions about rear delts

Post by Jeannay » Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:16 am

KenDowns wrote:I have to admit I do not understand at all how we strengthen our rear delts. I know the exercises to do, I just don't get how it works.

My experience with the main compound lifts may actually be getting in my way. For those you have a sustained program of varying intensity and volume and you can measure gains. You know where you are trying to go, a higher 1RM, and you know how to measure it.

So for a move like face pulls, what on Earth is the goal? More and more reps? Pain endurance as you work deeper and deeper into the burn? As I said, I'm probably confused because I think of gains in terms of the big compound moves, and don't know how to measure progress for this small muscle.

IF you want to progress better in weight you should pick a compound movement which uses the rear delt as a primal mover. rows where you keep the elbows high(about shoulder level) (i like using it single handed with a dumbell bentover). face pulls are in my opinion not optimal for pure weightprogression and are more of an isolation.

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Re: Very basic questions about rear delts

Post by Kenny Croxdale » Sat Dec 21, 2013 7:35 am

KenDowns wrote:I have to admit I do not understand at all how we strengthen our rear delts. I know the exercises to do, I just don't get how it works.

My experience with the main compound lifts may actually be getting in my way. For those you have a sustained program of varying intensity and volume and you can measure gains. You know where you are trying to go, a higher 1RM, and you know how to measure it.

So for a move like face pulls, what on Earth is the goal? More and more reps? Pain endurance as you work deeper and deeper into the burn? As I said, I'm probably confused because I think of gains in terms of the big compound moves, and don't know how to measure progress for this small muscle.
Stuward

He laid down a good foundation for you on this.

Let me add to it.

Face Pulls

Face pulls are a good multi joint exercise. They do a nice job of working the rear delts.

Higher Reps

I agree with Stu that higher reps are more effective for rear delts.

A great series of articles and videos which muscles respond to low and high reps Chris Thibaudea's series.

This one is on "Pulling Muscles".

High-Performance Mass Program
Lats and Biceps Fatigue Loading
http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_art ... oading&cr=" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

As per Thibaudea, it appears that most upper body pulling movements respond better to higher reps.

Posterior Chain

The posterior chain composes the majority of the upper body "Pulling Muscles", i.e. the rear delts.

Thus, a high reps, high volume, short rest periods appear to be the way to go.

That doesn't mean low reps, heavier set shouldn't be used.

Dr. Jacob Wilson

Wilson touched on this in one of his on line video seminars with Dr. Layne Norton.

As Wilson noted,some muscle groups do respond to either higher or lower reps.

However, to maximize results in strength and size, muscle groups should be exposed to the full realm of training...high reps, low reps, etc.

With that said, upper body "Pulling Muscles" should use higher reps, since they respond better to that protocol.

"The Burn/The Pump"

This is a good barometer that indicate have hit the mark.

The burn is the pump. The pump creates an anabolic environment for muscle growth.

Compound Movements

Like Jeannay, I once believed that compound movements were enough.

All I did for my posterior chain was compound pulling movements.

After developing shoulder problems, I implemented additional isolation posterior chain movements.

It took some time and experimentation but my shoulders are back to normal.

I have a greater understand the value of isolation movements.

2 Mechanisms for Rapid Muscle Growth
http://www.t-nation.com/training/2-mech ... cle-growth" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

This article by Bret Contreras provide some great insights into the effectiveness of isolation movements.

Posterior Deltoid
http://exrx.net/Lists/ExList/ShouldWt.h ... hor1934542" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

This provide some good posterior chain exercises.

External Rotation with Band
http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/d ... -with-band" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I am a big proponent of the use of band for external rotator cuff work.

ANY type of band pulls of this nature are a good movement for working the posterior chain.

Kenny Croxdale
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Re: Very basic questions about rear delts

Post by Jeannay » Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:06 pm

Kenny Croxdale wrote:
KenDowns wrote:I have to admit I do not understand at all how we strengthen our rear delts. I know the exercises to do, I just don't get how it works.

My experience with the main compound lifts may actually be getting in my way. For those you have a sustained program of varying intensity and volume and you can measure gains. You know where you are trying to go, a higher 1RM, and you know how to measure it.

So for a move like face pulls, what on Earth is the goal? More and more reps? Pain endurance as you work deeper and deeper into the burn? As I said, I'm probably confused because I think of gains in terms of the big compound moves, and don't know how to measure progress for this small muscle.

Like Jeannay, I once believed that compound movements were enough.

All I did for my posterior chain was compound pulling movements.

After developing shoulder problems, I implemented additional isolation posterior chain movements.

It took some time and experimentation but my shoulders are back to normal.

I have a greater understand the value of isolation movements.
.

Kenny Croxdale[/color]


Nowhere did i say compound movements are enough. i said IF he wants to progress in weight he should pick a compound movement with rear delts as having the primal mover (rows with elbows high)for it. I Suggest this because many people like to record their progress in weightincreases and compound movements are better suited for this. Doesnt mean he has to use compound movements exclusively. Isolation has a place and is a very important tool.

sorry maybe i miswrote, english is not my native language.

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Re: Very basic questions about rear delts

Post by Matt Z » Mon Dec 23, 2013 5:07 am

I'm a bit fun of Rear Delt Rows, especially the one-arm dumbbell variety. I use a fairly wide rep range (anywhere from sets of 12 down to sets of 3) and go fairly heavy.

Pendlay Rows are also good since you use a wide grip and pull to the chest.

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